These FAQs are current as of March 19, 2020. Questions and answers may be updated and may even change as new information becomes available. Please check back frequently for updates.
Please see the Colorado Office of Early Childhood Department of Human Services for more resources and guidance.
Authorization to Operate as an Emergency Child Care Provider
Do I need authorization from CDHS to operate as an Emergency Child Care Provider?
All providers must complete a provider survey at www.covidchildcarecolorado.com. After completing this survey, your information will be cross-checked with licensing and you will receive an email or phone call to confirm your capacity and availability to participate. CDHS will determine which providers are authorized to operate as Emergency Child Care Providers and will provide confirmation to that effect.
How do we know whether to stay open or to close?
The Governor has directed local public health agencies to work with child care providers and preschools to determine whether it is safe to continue operations. Providers are encouraged to follow guidance from CDPHE, CDHS, and local public health around closures and the safe provision of care.
What will payment rates be?
The determination of payment rates are in process and we expect them to be competitive. Existing providers that are remaining open during the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to pay child care professionals that are already on a provider’s payroll in the same way that they normally would and can use additional revenue to compensate early childhood educators. Temporary, emergency child care professionals may be brought onto the provider’s payroll as need arises and in coordination with the Child Care Licensing Unit at the Office of Early Childhood.
How do payment options interact with public funding sources like CCCAP?
The state has provided updated guidance to counties around paying a greater number of allowable absences per CCCAP students. The Governor has issued an executive order that directs CDHS to access additional federal Child Care Development Funds to reimburse counties that pay providers through the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) for absences or closures as a result of COVID-19. These provisions are in place until May 14th, with the possibility of extension if the outbreak continues. The Governor has also encouraged counties to continue to fund CCCAP child care centers who are experiencing low attendance or temporary closures to ensure consistency for child care providers and to protect the vital role they play for children and families.
What are the recommended ratios for these children? Should we restrict our operations to serving no more than 10 children (per directive not to have gatherings of more than 10)?
To the extent providers can reduce ratios based on daily attendance, reductions are an option available to providers but not currently required. Providers should follow guidance from CDPHE and CDHS on ratios and group sizes.
What should our hours of operation be?
Individual providers may set their own hours of operation in alignment with any program handbooks and policies or other contractual obligations.
Will food be provided? What if we don't have a cook? Will cooks be available?
Each provider will have to arrange for these services. Please reach out if you would like us to connect you with options.
If we need more child care professionals, how do we get the ok to bring them into our operations during this emergency situation?
The Office of Early Childhood is working to expedite license transfer and providers should work with child care licensing when they need to support the transfer of a background check.
Will liability insurance cover my decision to provide care during this time?
Each provider will need to check with their individual liability insurance provider to determine what their insurance allows or will require.
What if my license or quality rating is up for renewal?
The majority of child care licenses are permanent and do not require renewal. If you are on a time-limited license (provisional or probationary) please reach out to the licensing office for information regarding your license. Colorado Shines quality rating processes are likely to be placed on hold, pending formal communication from CDHS and the Office of Early Childhood.
Will the Office of Early Childhood consider extending timelines to complete professional development requirements?
In an effort to limit exposure to Covid-19 the Office of Early Childhood is extending training that has an in-person training requirement.
On March 13th, the American Heart Association (AHA) released interim guidance recommending that employers and regulatory bodies consider extending CPR and First Aid card expiration dates by an additional 60 days. The Office of Early Childhood will honor this extension and will allow for the additional 60 days for all Department-approved CPR/ First Aid certificates expiring on March 1st or later.
The Office of Early Childhood will be extending the Department-approved Medication Administration Training expiration dates by an additional 60 days. All certificates expiring March 19th or later will have the 60 days extension. Programs should work with their nurse consultant on delegation.
The Office of Early Childhood will also be granting a 60 day extension on all staff and children’s health statements that will be expiring on March 19th or later.
At this time, all other required courses are available free, online on the Colorado Shines Early Childhood professional development (PDIS) website. The Department is not extending the expiration date for these required courses.
Please check back here for more information as it becomes available.
Will all normal licensing requirements be in place for providers offering emergency child care?
The Governor has authorized CDHS to waive regulations that will increase the supply of child care for essential and emergency workers, if waiving such regulations will not endanger the public health, welfare, or safety. Please contact the child care licensing unit if you require a waiver to continue to operate.
Access to Needed Supplies
How can providers access needed supplies that may be hard to purchase at this time?
Providers should continue to access supplies according to their current procurement procedures. If supplies become an obstacle to operation, the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative may serve as a resource in helping contact local school districts and businesses to solicit donations of appropriate supplies for operations.
Health and Safety Precautions
Will my program be able to close early on a regular basis for deep cleaning and disinfecting? Will time to do this be subsidized?
Providers can decide their own operating hours in compliance with licensing requirements, parent handbooks and contractual obligations. At this time, formal cleaning will not be subsidized, but we are working to support the procurement of supplies in the days and weeks ahead.
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